Psychological scientists are trained to do science, and as we all know, writing typically comes second. It’s no secret that the science in a manuscript submission may be a significant contribution to the field but that the prose may be, well, less than stellar.
Enter the managing editors and copy editors, the behind-the-scenes fixers. When they do their jobs well, they do much more than catch typos and missing commas. They catch errors in graphs and tables, missing pieces of arguments, and even, on rare occasions, flawed conclusions. It’s painstaking, sometimes tedious work, but the end result is an article that is clear, pleasant to read, and error-free. It’s also a thankless task. You only notice the editing when it is not up to snuff.
This year, the APS Board of Directors honored the fixer who for 20 years has almost single-handedly made APS journals the best, clearest, and most pleasant-to-read journals in the field. Since nearly the first issue of our flagship journal, Michele Nathan has whipped Psychological Science articles into shape (often a bewildering experience for authors, who are not used to her strictness about the minutiae of grammar and usage). And as the journal has grown, Michele has trained a growing cadre of copy editors to take the same old-school, craftsman-like approach to the art.
“Across five editors and thousands of authors,” wrote the journal’s current Editor Rob Kail for the occasion, “Michele has been the glue that has held the operation together, kept Psychological Science true to its mission, and been the voice of the journal. Many, many thanks to Michele for sustaining Psychological Science and making it sing!”
Outgoing APS President Mahzarin Banaji presented Michele with an award recognizing her long and ongoing contribution to the top journal in the field.
From all of us at APS, thank you, Michele!